Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Chicken Themed Birthday

I had a birthday this weekend and I got some chicken themed gifts! Eric's parents gave me a card and bought me some toasty boots for chicken chores. Dad and Terri sent a card and cash to buy something nice (which ended up going towards the boots and a necklace), and then Eric bought me a pitchfork, a scoop shovel, a chicken figurine, and he made me an automated coop door! How cool is that?! I have the coolest husband, parents, and in-laws!

He even cleaned out my chicken coop for me because I had to be in training all weekend for my part-time job, The weather was nice so he hung out with the ladies all day and cleaned their coop and made them a door. On my birthday after training, I went to Goodwill and saw a decent looking fake tree and took it home with me, so we have a Christmas tree up too!

We are hosting Thanksgiving at our house this week so I've been busy tonight baking a cake. I can already tell it's going to be awesome. The batter and frosting are amazing. I hard boiled some eggs so I can make deviled eggs for an appetizer. I'll prep for some other goodies and clean tomorrow night. Let's hope the kitties can keep the house clean in the 24 hours leading up to Thanksgiving dinner! They can be SO furry and so messy!

It's been a busy few weeks with work and all. I can't think of what else to write about. So much has been going on.

Wellllll, and then there was the incident with the doll. I won't get into that too much. I had to get rid of my new antique doll I bought....something was wrong with it. Um...yeah. Back on eBay the doll went, so if you know of anyone looking for a spooky doll, let me know :)

Bought a little vanity to put my dolls on.

Jack.....
Eric's progress on the chicken door
Peanut butter frosting
Chocolate cake

Me and My new chicken gear

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

What IS that WHITE STUFF?!?!?!?!


What IS that stuff!?!?!?!?!?!
Well, this has been a semi-productive week. I feel like I have a ton to write about so I will try to keep it interesting,

Last week, I had an ultrasound of my gallbladder and it appears that I have symptoms consistent with cholecystitis, which is the fancy term for gallbladder inflammation so they referred me to the surgeon to look at it. I have an appointment with him on December 3 and at that time it will be determined whether or not I need to have surgery to take it out. I don't think I will need it out, but I'm not a doctor, so we will see. I won't be too impressed if I will have to have a second surgery in December. For those of you who don't know, I am having surgery on December 18th to repair my abdominal muscles and to clean up my extra skin from my massive weight loss, so the idea of putting my little body through anesthesia twice in one month makes me want to puke. Literally and figuratively.

Aside from that, my fibromyalgia has been a mean beast lately- nearly every week I've been dealing with back and neck pain. Thankfully, I had an appointment with the rheumatologist last week and he prescribed a nerve-blocking medication for the fibro pain. I hope it helps me out. I have had little to no rheumatoid arthritis pain since he put me on the RA med, so hopefully this new med for the fibro will help, too. I am starting to feel like a damn science experiment with all of these medications :(

Enough of the unhappy stuff....On to the animals. :) :)

We got snow!! Jack is beyond thrilled. At first when Eric opened the door to let Jack out, he was uneasy, but when Eric pushed him out into it, Jack bolted into the snow and ran figure 8's all over our yard and the neighbors' yards. He is such a goon. He took nosedives into the snow and ran through it...He's just so happy, eating it, jumping through it....omg. He has been SO goofy this week. Yesterday, Eric put on his snowmobile helmet and Jack freaked out and started barking at him in his "big dog" voice...haha.

I also bought a new antique doll for my birthday, as some of you already know since you saw the video on Facebook, and Jack did NOT like her one bit. He was happily chewing his bone on the living room floor until he noticed the doll sitting on the love seat. He immediately jumped up and started barking at her in his big boy voice and would hide behind the arms of the seat and behind it and bark at her...oh, it was so funny!

Jack did not appreciate my new doll Elsie as much as I did.


Lily's condition seems to have improved a bit. We have made a couple changes to help her with her urinary issues. We moved one litter box to the main level of the house- we put it in the entry way next to the bathroom, and they receive two meals of canned food each day to increase their water intake. I have not found any places where she has peed outside the litter box. I am keeping my fingers crossed. I hope this is what it takes. Or maybe we can just keep getting her that shot the vet gave her to help her bladder feel better. Poor little girl. She also seems like she feels better, even. She comes up and lays by me and tries to get attention more as well. Love my little girl!

We got like 7 inches of snow this week and I could not make it to work on Monday because of it, I made one hell of an effort to go to work though...oh, it was such a scary drive trying to get there too. UGH! I made a promise when they hired me that I would try my best to get there when the weather with disagreeable and I really did. It's so frustrating when I can't get to work, but thankfully I can do some work from home. I had a lot of phone calls I could make and got some work done that way. Today, I was supposed to go to CPR training for my part-time job all the way in Spicer MN but I determined that it would just not be cost effective for the company to pay me my hourly wage to drive there (nearly 3 hours with the icy roads) and back, along with mileage, and the training time to be there. I arranged to do the training on an evening after work instead. I'm so grateful that staff with my part-time job are so flexible.

I believe all but 2 of my chickens have never seen snow before and it was so funny to see their reaction to it this week. Francis is over a year old, and I have a hen that was from last year's hatch as well- so they have experienced winter before. A couple of the chickens hopped out into the snow, stepped around a little bit, and then flew right back into the coop. They gave me a look like "what the hell!!!" Every time I came back out to the coop during the day, they all would just be peeking out the coop door and not one of them would be out in the snow covered run....hahaha.

The only way I could get them to go into the run was to throw some straw into it. My mother and father-in-law suggested that idea and it worked. It convinced the chickies the go outside at least for a little bit. It doesn't seem too cold for the birds just yet. I still feel bad for them out there though. Their coop is nice and sturdy and it is not drafty at all. It blocks the wind pretty well. I went out this afternoon to give them some more water and I saw Karen the duck all snuggled up in some straw. She looked pretty comfy (and CUTE!).

I want to buy some fabric and make curtains for their nest boxes to help keep some heat in for their eggs. I'm trying to brainstorm some ways to keep the eggs from freezing and cracking open in my unheated coop. One way that I had seen online was to make those little hand warmers filled with rice that you microwave- which stay warm for a few hours- I could nuke those and put those in the nest boxes and they should retain at least some heat on those extra frigid mornings.

I figured out the hard way that I can't use the 3 gallon chicken waterer for the coop this winter because Kim and Karen are sloppy drinkers and spill more water than they drink. UGH! I went through so much work to thaw the waterer out to find out how much of a mess the two ducks like to make of it. They got the entire corner of the coop wet, but for some reason with the heated dog dish, they don't make any mess.....so heated dog dish it is. The only issue with the dog dish is that I will have to refill it multiple times per day because I have 19 birds and they drink a lot of water.

Even with the low temps and all of the snow, I still managed to get 7 eggs today and 8 yesterday. I'm pretty happy with that. My girls are good little layers! I'm a grateful chicken lady!!!
Eating snow off my boots.

This is Fluffy, my Australorp. She is sitting next to a Rhode Island Red- both are great egg layers.

I will EAT the snow, but I will not step in it!

Drinking water from the heated dog dish.

It's not so bad out here once the straw in on the snow!

Checking out the white stuff.

Snowball was the first one brave enough to venture outside to check things out,


This is Speedy.

Laying me a brown egg.

Speedy laying me a white egg.

Chillin' in the coop.


Oh yea, we had a fun Halloween. I got Eric to dress up like a cop. I went as Sleeping Beauty and we went to the Halloween ball a little town about an hour away. It was fun to have a few trick or treaters too! I won't post Eric's photo because he would kick my butt...haha. :)